House Committee Finds CIA At Fault For Failing To Prevent, Reprimand Employee Sexual Assault – One America News Network

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) seal is displayed in the lobby of CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, on August 14, 2008. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
11:02 AM – Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A copy of the final investigative report that the House intelligence committee released this month and shared with the press indicates that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was negligent in handling cases of sexual assault involving CIA personnel.


The bipartisan report’s most damning conclusion said that there was “confusion and disorder” in the reporting procedure for these assaults and that there was “little to no accountability or punishment for confirmed perpetrators.”

The committee’s investigation began in January 2023 in response to a complaint made by a female CIA employee that claimed she had been sexually and physically abused by a fellow officer at the CIA HQ. The agency did nothing when she reported the assault, according to POLITICO, which made the probe public in April of last year.

The agency had also failed to discipline a male coworker who had attempted to “forcefully kiss’ the same unidentified woman multiple times.

A number of other informants came before the committee to relate their personal accounts of being harassed and sexually assaulted by agency employees. In the course of its inquiry, the committee conducted two oversight hearings, examined over 4,000 pages of material provided, and spoke with over 20 CIA whistleblowers.

“Over the course of the investigation, the committee discovered that [the] CIA failed to handle allegations of sexual assault and harassment within its workforce in the professional and uniform manner that such sensitive allegations warrant,” the committee stated.

According to the CIA, it hired a seasoned outside expert on sexual assault to head the 2021 office, which supports agents who are coping with allegations of sexual assault and harassment. It claimed to have strengthened its disciplinary procedures and simplified the process for staff members to file complaints and locate tools to deal with their unique situations.

“We take the issue of sexual assault and harassment extremely seriously,” the agency said. “We are absolutely committed to fostering a safe, respectful workplace environment for our employees and have taken significant steps to ensure that, both by bolstering our focus on prevention and strengthening the agency’s handling of these issues when they arise.”

One of the victims’ attorneys claimed that the CIA fired the first whistleblower in February as a clear act of reprisal for disclosing the incident, which led to Ashkan Bayatpour, her perpetrator, being found guilty of strangling her by tying a scarf around her neck.

His employment at Langley was later terminated.

The agency had “unlawfully ended a young woman’s career only because she had the moral courage, lacking in her managers, to stand up and be a witness about her sexual assault,” her lawyer, Kevin Carroll, told the Associated Press.

The Central Intelligence Agency still refuted any wrongdoing and said it had followed all procedures to guarantee “equal and fair treatment of every officer going through training.”

The assessment disclosed that the CIA failed to adequately cooperate with law enforcement when employees reported assaults, which discouraged victims from coming forward with similar claim since they were not granted anonymity.

Additionally, it stated that the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity was unable to properly engaged in response activities due to unidentified “internal issues” and that the agency’s sexual assault prevention office lacked the authority and resources necessary to carry out its duties.

The House committee had “heard directly from whistleblowers who courageously shared their stories in order to push for change and accountability,” said intel committee Chair Mike Turner (R-Ohio.) as well as ranking member Jim Himes (D-Conn.) in a joint statement. “Our committee has put in place significant legislative reforms to address failures, and we will continue to monitor progress to ensure there is no slippage in the agency’s commitment to addressing sexual assault and harassment.”

Nevertheless, Bill Burns, the director of the CIA, and other top officials were still commended for cooperating with the committee throughout its probe.

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Brooke Mallory
Author: Brooke Mallory

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